Tag Archives: climate change

Students tour Mariner East 2 pipeline

Twenty-five students from the Peace and Conflict Studies / Environmental Studies course “Climate Disruption, Conflict, and Peacemaking” toured the route of the Mariner East 2 pipeline (ME2) construction that runs near Swarthmore College.

Mariner East pipes like along the route.
Mariner East pipes lie along the route.
A ship is docked at Marcus Hook near the terminal where natural gas liquids are transferred.
A ship is docked at Marcus Hook near the terminal where natural gas liquids are transferred.

The ME2, a Sunoco project, runs through highly populated neighborhoods in Delaware and Chester counties and beyond. It will carry compressed propane, ethane, and butane from fracking operations in the Marcellus shale fields of western Pennsylvania to the port of Marcus Hook, for shipping, mostly to Europe for the production of plastics (enough to produce 1 billion single-use bottles every day).

SP-mariner-east-pipeline-map-010218-2-01-1024x797

The ME2 pipeline carries highly flammable liquefied gases under pressure through populated suburban neighborhoods, often only feet from homes, schools, residential facilities, detention facilities, and businesses. The gases are odorless, invisible, and heavier than air, raising concerns about the possibility of evacuation in the event of a leak. The pipeline has generated significant and growing local opposition and has raised questions about risk and regulatory processes.

map indicating trip route

Our tour took us to Marcus Hook and its refineries, Hershey’s Mill Village, a large retirement community in the potential blast zone of the pipeline, and an elementary school near a valve station, where we met with a local resident and activist. We are immensely grateful to our guide, George Alexander, author of the Dragonpipe Diary, where you can find more investigative work on the pipeline and local campaigns to stop or regulate the pipeline.

For information from Sunoco on the pipeline, visit their websiteState Impact PA reporting, and the Dragonpipe Diary.

Join us on Wednesday November 13 at 7:00 p.m. for a screening of the film, Half-Mile, Upwind, On Foot, about resistance to the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline (that we toured in 2017) and the Mariner East 2 pipelines.

 

“Half-Mile, Upwind, on Foot” film screening and panel

Please join us for a film screening of Half-Mile, Upwind, on Foot, with the filmmaker and anti-pipeline activists featured in the film.

This film documents the efforts of two communities challenging fossil fuel pipeline projects in Pennsylvania, including the Mariner East 2 pipeline that cuts through Delaware County, not far from Swarthmore College.

Wednesday, 13 November 2019
7:00 – 8:30 P.M.
Scheuer Room in Kohlberg Hall
Swarthmore College

This event is open to the public. You can find directions and a campus map on the College’s website. Download a flyer and bring a friend.

Brian McDermott, the filmmaker, writes:

Half-Mile, Upwind, On Foot tells the story of communities who are working to challenge two different pipeline projects in Pennsylvania that are considered by many to be disruptive, dangerous, and unnecessary. A protest sign rests on the ground next to the bucket of a backhoe.Through use of eminent domain, billion-dollar pipeline projects are being developed close to homes, schools and community centers—all for the delivery of natural gas and “highly volatile liquids” overseas. The film shares stories of people who are rising up to assert their basic right to a clean, sustainable environment and a safe community as they are confronted by extraction companies and an unfriendly system that often favors corporate power over the rights of people.

In the film, we meet Ellen Gerhart, a retired special education teacher and grandmother who was jailed twice for protesting the taking of three acres of her land (through eminent domain) for use by a pipeline company. Ellen catalogues the degradation of nature that has been taking place on her property, and she gives an overview of some of the ways companies take advantage of their use of eminent domain. We then follow Ginny Marcille-Kerslake, a geologist who testified in court against a pipeline company and successfully stopped construction on her land by documenting how the pipeline construction was damaging the environment.

We also hear from a group of Catholic Sisters known as the Adorers of the Blood of Christ who built a chapel in a pipeline’s path on their land as an expression of religious freedom and their belief in caring for the earth. Sister Bernice Klostermann provides us with a history of the Adorers who settled in Pennsylvania and she teaches us why it is important to preserve the land.

Untitled design

We are then introduced to Malinda Harnish Clatterbuck (a Mennonite pastor) and Mark Clatterbuck (a Professor of Religion at Montclair State University), the Co-Founders of Lancaster Against Pipelines who have been working tirelessly for the past four years to protect communities and to inspire others to take action. They reveal what they’ve learned about eminent domain law and regulations regarding pipeline construction, and they provide insight into how extraction companies are able to receive permits for projects even when those projects may be damaging to the environment or disputed by a large number of citizens. Mark and Malinda  also demonstrate how communities can move forward in peaceful ways to protect what they love.

Ultimately, we hear Senator Andrew Dinniman reinforce what many citizens had suspected all along: eminent domain is being compromised in Pennsylvania, and those who oppose the demand for public safety and a clean and sustainable environment, are actually opposing the Constitution of Pennsylvania.

Co-sponsors: Peace and Conflict Studies, Environmental Studies, the Office of Sustainability, and the Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsiblity. 

Download a flyer:

Half Mile poster rough draft 4-9

Touring the Mariner East 2 Pipeline

Twenty-five students from the Peace and Conflict Studies / Environmental Studies course “Climate Disruption, Conflict, and Peacemaking” braved cold temperatures to tour the route of the Mariner East 2 pipeline (ME2) that runs near Swarthmore College.

SP-mariner-east-pipeline-map-010218-2-01-1024x797

The ME2 will carry compressed propane, ethane, and butane from fracking operations in the Marcellus shale fields of western Pennsylvania to the port of Marcus Hook where these byproducts of natural gas production will be shipped mostly to Europe for the production of plastics.

The ME2 pipeline carries highly flammable liquefied gases under pressure through populated suburban neighborhoods, often only feet from homes, schools, residential facilities, detention facilities, and businesses. The pipeline has generated significant and growing local opposition and has raised questions about risk and regulatory processes. The gases are odorless, invisible, and heavier than air, raising concerns about the possibility of evacuation in the event of a leak.

DSC01685

Our tour took us to Marcus Hook and its refineries, an elementary school near a valve station, and Hershey’s Mill Village, a large retirement community in the potential blast zone of the pipeline. We met with local residents and activists at the latter two sites. We are immensely grateful to our guide, George Alexander, author of the Dragonpipe Diary, where you can find more investigative work on the pipeline and local campaigns to stop or regulate the pipeline.

For information from Sunoco on the pipeline, visit their website.

 

A new film Half-Mile, Upwind, On Foot, about resistance to the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline (that we toured last year) and the Mariner East 2 pipeline, will be released soon.

Half-Mile, Upwind, On Foot trailer from Brian McDermott on Vimeo.

No Empires, No Dust Bowls: Lessons from the first Global Environmental Crisis with Dr. Hannah Holleman

Announcing an Upcoming Lecture!

Download and share a flyer.

No Empires, No Dust Bowls: Lessons from the First Global Environmental Crisis

Dr. Hannah Holleman
Assistant Professor of Sociology at Amherst College

Monday, December 3, 2018 from 4:15 pm – 5:30 pm in the Scheuer Room, Kohlberg Hall, Swarthmore College
This event is free and open to the public. (Campus map)

The 1930s Dust Bowl has become one of the most prominent historical referents of the climate change era amongst scientists and writers. This lecture offers a significant reinterpretation of the disaster with implications for our understanding of contemporary environmental problems and politics. Based on award-winning research and theoretical development, Prof. Holleman reinterprets the Dust Bowl on the U.S. southern Plains as one dramatic and foreseeable regional manifestation of a global socio-ecological crisis generated by the political economy and ecology of settler colonialism and the new imperialism.

She establishes key antecedents to present-day ecological developments and brings the narrative forward to today, explaining the persistent consequences and important lessons of this era for our current struggles to address the planetary challenges of climate change, environmental injustice, and new threats of dust-bowlification.

Hosted by Peace and Conflict Studies with Co-Sponsorship from the Lang Center for Civic Engagement and Social Responsibility, Environmental Studies, and Sociology and Anthropology

Contact: Molly Lawrence at mlawren1@swarthmore.edu, 610-328-7750

Pipelines and Nonviolent Civil Resistance

Lancaster Against Pipelines Pequa Creek

On Wednesday November 7, Malinda Clatterbuck, a co-founder of Lancaster Against Pipelines and a staff member at the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund will speak in our “Climate Disruption, Conflict, and Peacemaking” course in Science Center room 183 at 10:30-11:20.  You are welcome to attend to hear more about the Atlantic Sunrise pipeline and local resistance.  (An RSVP to lsmithe1 would be welcome but not necessary.)

Last year, our class toured part of the route of the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline, including property owned by the Adorers of the Blood of Christ, a Catholic order that is fighting the seizure of their land through eminent domain.

After class on November 7, anyone is invited to join us at noon for a brown-bag conversation over lunch in the new Sproul Hall kitchen (Room 205 in the Hormel/Nguyen Intercultural Center). Brown bag means you bring your own lunch. Drop by Essie Mae’s next door to grab some food if you wish, and then come join us.  No need to RSVP.

You can read more about Lancaster Against Pipelines and their partners, the Sisters of the order Adorers of the Blood of Christ at http://www.wearelancastercounty.org/
The new documentary film, Half-Mile, Upwind, On Foot, features clips of interviews with Malinda and the sisters. See  https://vimeo.com/283257412

Half-Mile, Upwind, On Foot trailer from Brian McDermott on Vimeo.

Climate Justice and Civil Rights

Please mark your calendar for an exciting event serving as the capstone for Black History Month and the opening for Women’s History Month:

March 2, 2018

Public Lecture
“Climate Justice and Civil Rights”
1:30-2:30pm: Swarthmore Meeting House

Reception and Gathering
3:30-5:00pm: Black Cultural Center

You are invited to a public lecture and conversation with Jacqueline Patterson, the Director of the NAACP’s Environmental and Climate Justice Program.

Jacqueline Patterson NAACP poster

 

 

 

A national leader who bridges civil rights and environmental justice, Patterson heads the NAACP’s initiatives to advance an inclusive, “just transition” to a renewable, green economy. At the heart of this initiative is Patterson’s commitment to ensuring that communities of color and those who are the most impacted by the harmful effects of climate change are at the center of the movement to create an equitable and sustainable future. Patterson’s long history of leadership has led her to serve as coordinator and co-founder of Women of Color United, and to advocate for the intersection of issues relating to women‘s rights, violence against women, HIV&AIDS, racial justice, economic justice, and environmental and climate justice.

This event is co-sponsored by: Environmental Studies, Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility, Black Studies, Black Cultural Center, Gender & Sexuality Studies, Diversity, Inclusion & Community Development, Religious Studies, Peace & Conflict Studies, Political Science, Philosophy, Sociology & Anthropology, Office of the President, Health & Societies Initiative, and the Sustainability Office.

Infographic Session – Climate Disruption Class

Please join the students in Climate Disruption, Conflict, and Peacemaking (PEAC 055 / ENVS 031) for an infographic session (similar to a poster session) on Monday morning December 11 at 10:30 a.m. in Shane Student Lounge.

Refreshments provided.  This is a zero waste event.

Global-Carbon-Budget-emissions-from-fossil-fuels-2015_12

 

With thanks for support from the Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility

Events Near Swarthmore This Weekend, 12/1/2017-12/3-2017

This weekend, December 1-2, Pendle Hill, the Quaker retreat center on the other side of Crum Wood is holding a one-day (and one evening) workshop:

Right to Refuse: When Community Rights and Corporate Rights Conflict and What to Do Next
Featuring: Chad Nicholson, Malinda Harnish Clatterbuck, Dianne Herrin, and Paula Kline
https://pendlehill.org/events/right-refuse-community-rights-corporate-rights-conflict-next/

Whether it is a pipeline, a fracked gas well, or an incinerator, there are countless examples of corporations moving projects forward despite community resistance and environmental impact. Why? How has law evolved to protect corporate interests and what are a community’s options? What is a Home Rule campaign and why is it necessary? Explore these questions and more with a weekend with front-line organizers from across Pennsylvania. This is a workshop for those engaged in protecting their community from environmental threats for education and strategic planning.

Right to Refuse - Pendle Hill

On Sunday, December 3 at 11:45 AM in Whittier Room,  George Alexander will speak on The Mariner East 2 pipeline: how it came to be, why it is so bad, and what we can do about it. 

Perhaps you have heard about the Mariner East 2 pipeline, which is under construction in Delaware and Chester Counties. In full operation, this would be by far the most dangerous pipeline in the state of Pennsylvania. A rupture and explosion would destroy structures thousands of feet away and, depending on where it happened, could kill hundreds of people. How was this permitted to happen, and what can we do about it now? George Alexander will present background on the pipeline and outline what can be done. Rich and Claudia Aldred will speak about their experience as homeowners in the “blast zone” of the pipeline.

UPCOMING WORKSHOP — Weaving the Threads: Intersectionality, Sustainability & Environmental Justice

How do we identify and address intersectional concerns (e.g. from racism, to poverty, to militarism, to homelessness, and more) in our sustainability work and activism? How do we connect our various initiatives within a framework of environmental justice? How do we communicate these visions with others?
On Monday, November 20, join Peace and Conflict Studies and Environmental Studies for a workshop with Prof. Randall Amster, former Executive Director of the Peace and Justice Studies Association.Workshop Flyer

Weaving the Threads: Intersectionality, Sustainability & Environmental Justice

The confluence of contemporary crises represents a direct threat to human existence, yet also a remarkable opportunity to implement alternatives and cultivate visions for a more just and sustainable world. The framework of “climate justice” increasingly subsumes many of these issues and possibilities, providing a basis for transforming our thinking and acting in relation to essential resources including food, water, and energy production. Likewise, critical issues of equity, access, and distribution are brought to the fore, with the nexus of environmental justice and peacebuilding offering potential avenues for change. What theories and actions are informing current movements and responses? How can policymaking and the lived experiences of people and communities equally inform the discourse? How can we promote an ethos of responsibility in both senses of the word, as a form of accountability and a locus of empowerment? Drawing upon examples from local to global scales, this session will seek to spark a collaborative dialogue for cultivating resilient responses to today’s most pressing challenges.

Randall Amster

Randall Amster, J.D., Ph.D., is Director and Teaching Professor in the Program on Justice and Peace at Georgetown University. He serves as Editor-in- Chief of the Contemporary Justice Review. He teaches and publishes widely on subjects including peace and nonviolence, social and environmental justice, political theory and movements, and the impacts of emerging technologies. His recent books include Peace Ecology (Routledge, 2015), Anarchism Today (Praeger, 2012), Lost in Space: The Criminalization, Globalization, and Urban Ecology of Homelessness (LFB, 2008); and the co-edited volume Exploring the Power of Nonviolence: Peace, Politics, and Practice (Syracuse University Press, 2013). His current research interests include environmental peacebuilding, climate justice, intersectionality and ecology, community and sustainability, and the justice implications of contemporary technology.

 

Peace Ecology Book Cover

The workshop begins at 4:15 pm and will take place in Kohlberg Hall, Room 116.

This event is sponsored by Peace and Conflict Studies, Environmental Studies, the Provost’s Office, the President’s Office, and the Office of Sustainability.

Gratitude for Ann Yasuhara

We have learned that one of our Swarthmore alums, Ann Yasuhara, passed away on June 11,2014. Ann, a Quaker, had become a strong influence in the direct action organization, Earth Quaker Action Team (EQAT), working to end mountaintop removal coal mining in Appalachia. Friends lovingly referred to her as their “Mountain Woman”. EQAT recently honored Ann as one of their Elders at a special ceremony at the Friends Center on Cherry Street in Philadelphia.

Others gathered for a memorial service and outdoor reception in Princeton:

EQAT's 2014 07July Ann Y Memorial album on Photobucket

We encourage you to read all of the obituary published in Princeton’s Town Topics, but we offer a few excerpts here:

A logician and computer scientist, she was known for combining her Quaker faith with action focused on peace, social justice, racial equality, and the environment. Her life balanced her love for the sacredness of all life, the compassionate concerns of a Quaker activist for the world and the local community, her delight in music, gardening, and art, and her generosity to friends and family. Ann Yasuhara belonged to the living tradition of Quaker spirit-led peace and justice activists. Unflagging in her resistance to war and violence, she studied the philosophy and methods of non-violent resolution of conflict with George Lakey, the noted Quaker peace activist. In turn, she led training groups for inner city children.

Most recently she enthusiastically supported — and went on protests with — the nonviolent direct action group, Earth Quaker Action Team (EQAT), which works to end mountaintop removal coal mining. On her 79th birthday she protested on a strenuous mountain climb in West Virginia mining country. In January, just before she was diagnosed with cancer, the Philadelphia-based group honored her as one of its outstanding “wise elders.”

“Ann was a leader in the Quaker faith and an inspiration to all of us. She set the bar very high and gave us confidence to fight for a better world,” says Janet Gardner, a documentary film maker at the Gardner Group and a member of Princeton Friends Meeting.

We appreciate Ann for her profound influence on so many pursuing peace and justice.

Ann_Yasuhara_EQAT